The Celtics took Marcus Smart with the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and now we’re left wondering whether it’s an overt sign Danny Ainge is delving deeper into a rebuild. If so, how will the competitive Rajon Rondo react to the selection of another point guard?
Rondo was rumored to be trade bait so the C’s could add the No. 8 pick to Nos. 6 and 17. Instead, the Kings used their pick for the odd choice of Nik Stauskas, a player some felt would get picked outside the top 10.
Regardless of Ainge’s thinking, Marcus was asked about the overlap with Rondo, and seemed to embrace future tutelage from him, even going so far as to say Rondo “reminds me a little bit of me. He plays defense. He’s long, his wing span, and he has big hands.”
He wasn’t annoyed about possibly sitting behind Rondo, either:
“I understand that you got to come in, you’ve got to earn your spot, earn your keep. That’s who I am. I like to earn things, and I work hard to get where I’m at. That’s what I’m going to continue doing.”
When the subject of possibly playing at the shooting guard spot came up, Smart was confident he could play out of his natural position and adapt wherever he’s placed in the rotation.
“I think me being so versatile in college helped me to be able to play the two or one or whatever position the Celtics want me to play at the next level.”
Even though Rondo is still a Celtic, and Smart is so confident he can make it work, neither player is a standout shooter, and Smart was right to compare himself to Rondo. C’s coach Brad Stevens appeared just as enthusiastic as Smart:
Stevens said "I don't think there's any doubt" Smart can play with Rondo. Believes it will be great for him to learn under All-Star.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) June 27, 2014
So far, the Celtics haven’t dealt Smart or Rondo, but we can’t help but wonder if Ainge had a plan B when he wasn’t able to package a larger number of picks to move up in order to select from the Wiggins/Parker/Embiid trifecta.
What do you think?
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